SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A voter-approved increase in the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour in San Diego took effect Monday with certification of the June 7 primary election results.
Proposition I, which also requires employers to provide five paid sick days a year, was supported by nearly 64 percent of San Diegans.
On Jan. 1, the hourly minimum wage will increase to $11.50, said Councilman Todd Gloria, who authored the ballot measure. The level will be determined by inflation beginning in 2019.
"Implementation of the wage increase is a huge victory for San Diego's working families and will provide much-needed relief for San Diegans who work full-time but still find trouble making ends meet amid rising costs for housing, utilities and groceries," Gloria said.
He said no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty. Employees will no longer have to expose the public if they're sick, or choose between caring for an ill family member or going to work, under the sick leave provisions, the councilman said.
The City Council passed the wage increase in 2014, but opponents in the business community forced the issue to the ballot. The June primary election was the first vote since then.
Along with the wage hike taking effect, the council members today unanimously passed an implementation ordinance that places the powers of investigation and enforcement in the hands of the city Treasurer's Office; provides for public outreach and education; calls for annual performance reports; and sets up a system to hear complaints. The ordinance also set up a schedule of fines for wage theft and retaliation against employees.